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Authorities Arrest Former Lakewood Police Office Skeeter Manos on Suspicion of Identity Theft, Forgery

Manos was convicted of embezzling money from the Lakewood Fallen Officers Fund and was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

(Editor's note: This is from the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office announcing the arrest of former officer Lakewood Police Officer Skeeter Manos, who was convicted of )

Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged former Lakewood Police Officer Skeeter Manos, 35, with Identity Theft in the Second Degree and Forgery. While acting as the Lakewood Police Department Guild treasurer, the defendant stole the identity of Roy Ovist, CPA, and forged documents in his name.

“These charges are about ensuring full accountability for the defendant,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.  “He previously pled guilty to the federal crime of Wire Fraud, and now he is being charged with separate state crimes of Identity Theft and Forgery. I appreciate the work of the Tacoma Police Department and the cooperation of the Lakewood Police Department. Lakewood Chief Farrar and his officers actively encouraged an additional investigation involving a new victim.”

Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar said, “Our department has always wanted to see this former officer held responsible for all of his actions. We absolutely support this prosecution.” 

In March of 2011, several members of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) requested an audit to explain how guild money was being spent. As guild treasurer, the defendant was responsible for maintaining all financial records and bank accounts for the guild. On July 14, 2011, a fair share audit was posted on the LPIG website so that all members would have access to its contents. The audit appeared to have been prepared and signed by accountant Roy Ovist.

On February 8, 2012, the defendant was arrested and charged in federal court for embezzling from a fund set up to benefit the families of four Lakewood Police officers killed in 2009. The following month he pled guilty to one count of Wire Fraud and was sentenced to 33 months in prison. His sentence included restitution of $112,000 to the fund for the families and $47,000 to the Lakewood Police Guild. Eric Bell, who assumed the position of guild president after the arrest of Manos, contacted Ovist’s office to request copies of the guild’s tax returns. Ovist told Bell that he had not done tax returns for the guild since 2005 and had not prepared or signed the audit.

At the request of Chief Farrar, Tacoma Police investigated the forged audit and learned that a copy of that audit had been e-mailed from Roy.Ovist@Yahoo.com. Ovist reported that he had never used this e-mail address, never had any contact with the defendant, and had not dealt with LPIG since 2007. A computer analysis determined that the e-mails that purported to be from Ovist all came from the same computer IP address. This IP address matched the defendant’s computer, which had been used to access the guild website and correspond with members.

The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned on September 12, 2012, at 1:30 pm in Courtroom 270. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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